Watt’s Up




Construction set to start on new addition at CAES: NuScale control room simulator

Construction of a state-of-the-art NuScale power plant control room simulator is set to start Monday, April 5, at CAES.
Its installation is the result of a $285k Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) award in FY19 to a University of Idaho-led project, Multi Universities SMR Simulators: NuScale. Rich Christensen, director of U of I’s Nuclear Engineering department, is the project’s principal investigator. U of I Professors Robert Borrelli, Michael Haney and Michael McKellar are also involved.
The simulator will be located on the first floor of the CAES facility in what is currently office space – offices 160, 161, 176 and 177. Modifications to that space are expected to be completed in late May.
The simulator is one of three university-led projects that received a NEUP award in 2019 aimed at broadening the understanding of advanced nuclear technology in a control-room setting and providing students, researchers, operators and members of the public opportunities to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research and education.
NuScale’s small modular reactor is the first to receive design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and tentative plans call for the first 12-unit, 60-megawatt SMR plant, called the Carbon Free Power Project, to be constructed on INL’s 890-square-mile desert site west of Idaho Falls. The reactors are expected to be commercially operational by the end of the decade.